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Duff McKagan, ‘The Simpsons’: Guns N’ Roses Bassist Says He’s Lost Royalities Over Cartoon’s ‘Duff Beer’

Mike Coppola, Getty Images

It may be hard to believe, but if Duff McKagan, the former Guns N’ Roses bassist has one regret about his wildly-successful career, it involves the animated TV show, “The Simpsons.”

In a new interview with Britain’s The Independent, McKagan recalls a phone call from a FOX channel official in the late 1980s, who told him that their new cartoon would feature a beer honored to the rocker called “Duff Beer.”

McKagan happily agreed, not realizing how much royalties he was going to miss out on because of not licensing his name at the time.

“I knew nothing about branding yourself then or the royalties off it,” McKagan tells the paper. “I just thought cool, they wanna use my name and boom, ‘The Simpsons’ was born. Yeah, if I had a nickel for every time…but it’s fine.”

Last year, McKagan wrote more about the experience and how he reportedly inspired “The Simpsons” more in his autobiography, It’s So Easy (And Other Lies). In the book via Metal Insider, he writes:

“When Guns N’ Roses began to break into the public consciousness, I was known as a big drinker. In 1988, MTV aired a concert in which Axl introduced me – as usual – as Duff ‘The King of Beers’ McKagan. Soon after a production company working on a new animated series called me to ask if they could use the name ‘Duff’ for a brand of beer in the show. I laughed and said of course, no problem. The whole thing sounded like a low-rent art project or something – I mean, who made cartoons for adults? Little did I know that the show would become ‘The Simpsons’ and that within a few years I would start to see Duff Beer glasses and gear everywhere we toured.”

McKagan currently is an accountant, advising bands at his Meridian Rock wealth-management company.


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